Former professional Beach Volleyball player, Paul Poloa, was honoured yesterday with the Poloaalii chiefly title at the village of Lalomanu.
The 55-year-old who is based in California, U.S.A, received the blessings from his family and the village council as he embarks on his new journey as the Sa’o of the Sa Poloa family. “This title has been vacant for a long time since my grandfather passed away in 1977,” he said.
“There was another family member who took the title but he only carried the title for a few months and then he passed away.
“We have been planning for this for so long. We were supposed to do it after I accepted it however, the situation at the time was not good because the families were in dispute and so my thoughts were to give it some time to cool down and then when the right time comes then I will do it. “So now that all of that is out of the way, today is the day I’m stepping up to lead my family.”
Asked how much the honour means to him, Poloalii said it means a lot to him because he will be spending more time with his extended family here in Samoa.
“I am very happy to see my family especially my two sisters from overseas here today to celebrate this special day with me,” he said.
“However, I dedicate today to one of my sisters, the late Sikala Poloaalii Ale who passed away last year in November.
“She was the one who was always with me in planning this day; she would deal with everything while I only provide the funds but now she’s gone it’s just sad that she left before all of this happened.
“[But] I know she is with me in spirit.” Poloaalii Paul said he was humbled by the honor. “I feel very honored, very privileged,” he said.
“I know it won’t be easy, but through God everything is possible and so I rely heavily on Him to give me the wisdom and the knowledge to lead my family with love.”
The ceremony started with a church service led by Rev. Etesone Gafa of the C.C.C.S. Church at Lalomanu. This was followed by the blessing of the title by the chiefs of the village and traditional formalities.